We've got our potions. Let's turn Cid back and get our airship already.
I mixed the 3 potions in this bottle, like you told me to.
Excellent. Let's test it right away.
...Oh, what the hell. Go ahead.
This better work.
Alright. Here we go.
So taking an old recipe from a joke book...apparently turned Cid into a frog. I guess it's an improvement? Maybe?
We're gonna go find Hilda! Gather everyone in the conference room! <Ribbit!>
I mean, maybe Cid could still fix the airship in this form. He never actually tries to, I guess because he's so damn fed up with being such a freak of nature.
The regent has an important announcement.
Everyone's reactions are the best. I like to think Dagger's trying to stifle a laugh there, which she desperately needs these days. Meanwhile, that's the first time I've ever seen Vivi laugh. I think my favorite reaction is Freya's, though. This shit is getting too ridiculous even for her.
Going from bug to amphibian is a step up, at least.
We must find him at any cost!
But we don't have an airship.
We can use that <ribbit> ship we stole in Alexandria. Artania, order Zebolt to service that ship immediately.
So, where exactly are we going?
<Ribbit>... I'm still working on that.
So if we go to the Black Mage Village, maybe we can learn something.
...I still can't believe it. Why were they on Kuja's ship!? WHY!?
Yes. Brilliant idea, Master Vivi.
Of course she will!
I don't know if that's a good idea.
Don't worry. I'll take care of her.
Alright then! <Ribbit!> Let's go to the Black Mage Village!
So now we have a destination, and a means to get there.
What all this construction?
Yeah. These pickles taste great.
What!? That is food!?
You've never seen a pickle before?
No. First time. I still need eat many different food and get much learning. My master tell me so.
In that case, you should try one. I think you'll like it.
Okay! I eat!
This will end well.
We can just go to the ship, but I think the game will railroad us into recruiting Quina anyway so let's go ahead and go by our own volition because I hate it when video games tell me how to live my life.
Zidane!!! I so happy to see you! This person very scary! I need help!
Do you know him?
Yeah, sort of...
Well, he's got some nerve. He ate one of my pickles without paying and tried to run off.
...I'm not surprised.
She say I should try one, so I try one. I do nothing wrong.
Are you crazy!? I'd be out of business if I gave out free food!
Okay, take it easy. ...So how much does he owe you?
Quick, someone do a Gil-to-USD conversion rate based on pickle prices.
I do believe there is an interesting scene that pops up if you don't actually have the cash, but I'm too lazy to look up what it is. That's what the thread is for!
Come on, Quina!
And with that, we now have all eight of our party members. We're finally running a full crew!
My pickles are the best!
I've already gotten my shopping done and nobody has anything new to say probably, so let's get on to the ship.
Here's our huge going-away party.
You're leaving? Have a safe trip.
Don't worry. The ship's all ready to go.
The regent is waiting onboard. Please use the ladder to board the ship.
I was hoping for Baku or Erin or even Moonte to bid us farewell, but I guess we're not worthy enough.
Our ship is the Blue Narciss.
Yeah, I was asked to.
The boss, of course. But it wasn't his idea.
We need at least one person to look after the ship when we reach our destination.
...You don't owe us anything.
Hey. Quina loves frogs, so you'd better watch out.
Oh, by the way, if you ever want to change your party members, talk to me.
Okay, where are we off to?
Yeah, we're not going there any time soon.
We could change our party at the tail end of Disc 2, even though it barely mattered at all. At any rate, this is where we really can finally choose our party. The only restriction is Zidane must be involved.
The controls. It's kind of a bit awkward to control at first, but it's no big deal. The biggest pain is trying to go to the menu will send you to the ship's deck first.
Cid and Blank are coming along for the ride. Cid changes party members, Blank goes back to controlling the ship.
We can talk to our current party members, so here is everyone's dialogue right now.
Why we not fish? Lots of yummy fish swim out there.
I'm not lookin' forward to seeing that sick narcissist again.
Traveling by ship is uncomfortable, but it cannot be helped. We must find him by any means necessary.
Don't worry about me. I'm okay...
We're going back to my home on the Outer Continent, right?
Maybe this trip will be good for the princess...
This is my initial team. Amarant needs AP, Freya needs AP and levels, and Quina needs Blue Magic, since a few more spells are now open to us.
This is where the sidequests really open up. We can access a few new areas in addition to all the old places we visited. Most importantly, a massive chunk of the Chocobo Hot & Cold quest is available to us.
That said, my first destination is actually to pick up a spell I forgot to get the first time I was in Burmecia.
Magic Vices teach Magic Hammer, which will reduce MP by a random amount up to the target's current MP. They're a pain to learn from since they will run away pretty early on. Luckily they're vulnerable to sleep so that helps matters.
There's a chain of islands to the west of the southwest continent. A couple things of note here.
First is another staple FF enemy, the Adamantoise.
This guy hurts. It has 3.5k HP and can do massive damage with attacks like Thundara.
Its signature attack is Earth Shake, which does huge damage to the party.
Fortunately, Quina can also learn it. The power is slightly higher than the -aga spells that we won't get for awhile, so pretty useful for this stage of the game.
Also on this island is a Qu Marsh, our third one so far.
This acid trip of an enemy is an Anemone.
I love it.
This attack deals damage and inflcits Berserk.
It teaches Quina how to have bad breath. This is the Marlboro's signature move in the series, inflicting a variety of nasty status effects on a target, with later games having it as a Blue Mage spell. This version has a 40% chance of inflicting Confusion, Darkness, Poison, Slow, and Mini. Yikes.
The frogs here are much easier to get than the marshes around Lindblum and Conde Petie.
Reach another threshold, got a more powerful fork.
Next up, we're going to visit the northwestern continent. There's a few things of note here.
This isn't one of them, though.
This is a Whale Zombie. Whales can be zombies. They can also fly.
This motherfucker can cast Death.
Shit doesn't get any radder than this.
A Phoenix Down knocks it to single-digit HP, enough to make eating it trivial. L5 Death isn't as exploitable as in, say, FF5, but it's still a valuable spell for certain circumstances. There's one dungeon in particular it's great for, and it's also great for grinding both EXP and Freya's ultimate move.
Seriously, what the fuck is with all these weird-ass enemies here.
I didn't go to this continent just to look at dead whales. We could've stayed at Alexandria for that.
No, there's a city here to check out.
Welcome to Esto Gaza, a spiritual sanctuary of sorts. We're not supposed to come here for awhile plot-wise, but might as well make a detour now.
One neat thing is these NPCs move around a lot between screens, saying the same thing so that you'll actually recognize them. Also, all of them wear white.
I've never seen you, either.
This city is built as a shrine to the Shimmering Island, a holy place of sorts.
The stars are the source of all life. We receive life from the stars and live our lives with them. This is the one place holy enough to worship the Path of Souls: the way of the Shimmering Island.
This holy place of religious enlightenment is also a great place to rent a hotel room.
More on this Shimmering Island later, of course. We're only sightseeing for now.
So do I!
This couple is fun to talk to.
If we say by chance...
But the fun is saying we're here to see Lisa.
Hey, Lisa. How about you and me go see the Shimmering Island?
They're gonna last forever. I can feel it.
Which makes sense, since this is the only civilization on this continent.
There's a shop here.
It sells exclusively Mythril items. Most of the stuff is outdated, but there are a couple upgrades here. The Mythril Claws teach Amarant Counter (as all claws do) and Curse, which inflicts a random elemental weakness upon the enemy. It's the Debilitator from FF6, and just as pointless here. Maybe it's more useful in a challenge run, maybe?
The other new item is the Mythril Racket for Dagger and Eiko, though the spells it teaches (Reflect, Protect, Shell) are all old news at this point. We also want Mythril Swords for synth purposes apparently.
As you may expect, we'll go through this door eventually, but not for now.
We're done here, so let's go back to the Outer Continent.
This place is constantly shaking. Interesting, huh?
Going back to the Iifa Tree to get one more blue magic spell. Actually, the Dracozombies also teach L5 Death, so I don't know why the FAQ I'm using told me to get it from those Whale Zombies and then get my next spell here, but whatever.
I switched out Freya and Amarant after they got some battle time in favor of Dagger and Steiner.
So, Dagger's sudden muteness isn't simply story bullshit, oh no. It extends to gameplay as well in a most wonderful way. You see, now every time it's Dagger's turn, she has a 50% chance of simply being too depressed to do anything. This is why just using an Echo Screen on her won't magically make her talk, she's too distracted to talk or whatever.
So Dagger's kinda useless for this next chunk of gameplay.
Anyway, I go out of the way to the Iifa Tree to get the stupid Roulette spell. This spell inflicts instant death to any random target, friend or foe, on the battlefield. Maybe if you had something like FF5's Bone Mail this would be nice, but mehhhh.
With that, Quina is only missing three Blue Magic spells. We've gotten all we can for now, though, so Quina gets a rest.
On the way back, I bust out one of Dagger's new summons. Here is Shiva.
Shiva is one of the most prevalent summons in the series, appearing in every FF game from 3 on, even if her appearance is sometime unorthodox (hello, motorcycle Shiva twins). She's the ice-elemental counterpart to the thunder-elemental Ramuh and fire-elemental Ifrit.
Her signature attack is Diamond Dust, which entraps enemies in an icy mist that eventually freezes them for large damage.
Substitute "large" for "kinda alright" here. More Opals will help boost this, though.
While we're in the area, let's check up on Madain Sari.
Amarant must've busted up Lani pretty bad, since the moogles had to revive her. She's too shy to talk to us, though. But yeah, Lani's hanging out with the moogles now and keeping them company now that Eiko's gone, so at least that's nice for them.
Next up, Kupo Nuts. The first one here gets another Extension add-on.
This means I can start delivering letters so I can get more crap fodder items in trade-in.
That wasn't a very happy letter... Kupo. I wonder what's going to happen now?
I won't believe it until I see it!
I also forgot to talk to this man before so here he is.
Finally, let's end the update with one last summon.
This is Ifrit. Ifrit, Shiva, and Ramuh are pretty much the three base elemental summons, usually lower-tier ones to make summoners an area-of-effect counterpart to black mages. Though usually Ramuh gets the short end on the stick in games like FF8 and FF10.
Ifrit's signature attack is Hellfire, which is fire from apparently Hell scorching the enemies with burning hellfire.
And that's all I had recorded from that session.
Next time, we're gonna jump back into Chocobo Hot & Cold. There's a lot more stuff waiting for us, eager to break the game in half already, and it's about damn time we got all of it.